rangerred (919) - Johnson City, Tennessee, USA - JAN 25, 2013
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Poured into a tulip out of a 750ml bottle.
Pours an extremely dark brown, nearly pitch black, with a decent one finger dark tan head. Pretty good head retention and lacing taking the abv into consideration.
The aroma threw me off a little bit. Instead of a chocolatey, roasty, stout aroma I get hit with some perfumy, funky, Belgian notes. Almost reminds me of a Flanders red or something. Quite floral with a little bit of dark fruit. Not bad but just a little odd.
This carries over into the flavor. Lots of fig and cherries along with just the slightest bit of funk. About halfway through and towards the finish, a little bit of light chocolate tries to come through but it is very faint. There are also some banana and bubblegum yeasty esters. Mouthfeel is on the thin side but also quite sticky.
Overall, I really was expecting more stout characteristics with this beer. This screams Flanders red or Oud Brun more than Belgian ale. It is all just a bit rough around the edges and a bit weak.
cfrancis (2338) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 28, 2014
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours black with a small beige head. Aroma is faint chocolate and roasted malt. Taste is light roasted malts, chocolate. I was expecting more complex.
Tonkun (862) - New Jersey, USA - AUG 23, 2014
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Dark docter pepper pour with a big off white head. Raisin, spice, oak, cherry chocolate, coffee, dried figs. Medium body. Acidic, sourness throughout. Dried fruits all the way. Nice but not my style
574deadzone (1029) - North Central, Indiana, USA - AUG 19, 2014
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Pours black/dark brown with a taller khaki head that settles to a thick film/ring and leaves some soapy lace. Nose involves marshmallows soaked in bad wine with a dash of cocoa. Quite sweet, fairly tart, sort of bitter. Full body, soft, oily, finishing oaky and dry. I don’t think I like this very much.
Homer321 (1876) - Rock Ridge, Florida, USA - JUL 2, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle shared by Keith. Nose is chewy raisins and dried fruit. Pour is a light brown with red highlights. Taste is a dried fruit roll up with raisins and cherry. Actually good.
Darkmagus82 (1024) - - JUN 30, 2014
3.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Poured from bottle into a chalice glass
Appearance – The beer pours a dark brown, nearly black color with a one finger head of a thick creamy head of an off white color. The head very slowly fades leaving a fantastic level of thick and foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the beer is big of a yeasty and banana smell mixed with lots of darker fruit aromas of raisin, plum and fig. Along with these smells comes other more Belgian spice smells with strong notes of clove and coriander and a bit of pepper. A sugary sweet bubblegum aroma and a bit of candied sugar mix with the fruit to create an overall very sweet smell. This sweet however is overall balanced by the presence of some lighter dark chocolate and roasted malt aromas which with the sweet produces a very inviting smell.
Taste – The taste begins with a somewhat sour dark fruit flavor as there is a rather strong presence of cherry, raisin, fig and a lemon like taste. Right up front there is also some flavors of a roasted malt and light chocolate nature, which begin stronger, but end up fading more and more as the taste advances. While the roasted and chocolate fade, some yeasty and spice flavors come to the tongue along with more and more sour lemon flavors joining along. While quite weak more toward the middle, the roasted flavors make a resurgence at the end of the taste, bringing along with them some hay and grassy hop flavors. These flavors balance some of the more sour flavors nicely and with some flavors of a light candied sugar and some warming boozy rum flavors coming to the tongue at the end, a mildly bittered and somewhat sour dark fruity and lightly boozy Belgian flavor is left to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on somewhat thin for a brew of 9 % abv, but not too far off for a Belgian strong dark, while the carbonation level is on the slightly higher side. The feel is rather nice as it mellows the sour a bit with the thinner body and higher carbonation all while still allowing the other more mild dark fruit and malt flavors, as well as the yeast and spice, to come through.
Overall – While listed as an Imperial Stout, I would definitely not classify it as that, but instead as a Belgian strong dark ale. It is fruitier and less roasty with a whole mess of Belgian yeast flavors.
Overall it is alright, but really does not outshine other beers of a comparable style and price.
nuplastikk (4351) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 21, 2014
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
750ml wacky non-sleek bottle. Black brown body. Brutal aroma, sweet and past its prime. The oak just adds an oily slickness to the whole mess of a beer. Not unlike a milk stout in its sweet sugary forwardness, but with the neutered SA Belgian yeast, and some coffee and spices. Not unbearably bad, but pretty shabby. Oily specialty malt oaky residues. Not worthy of the premium price. Disappointing.
Koskela (287) - Marysville, California, USA - JUN 17, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I get choc oak and a typical Belgian yeast aroma with this clear deep red ish brown color and a cream brown head. A tart flavor hits my young at first followed by slight sweetness of chocolate and maybe some oak. The body is a medium body with decent carb. There is a bitterness and choc flavor with the alcohol feel in the end. Not bad though I don’t know what kind of brew I would truly classify it.
COMRADEJOSH (291) - Ft Hood, Texas, USA - JUN 11, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
Not very strong aroma to me but what I do get is grape like. Tastes of fruit but I don’t get very much of what I consider stout flavors of toasted malt and chocolate tones. I taste more fruit and sugar tones like a Belgian Abbey enjoyable but not like a stout except slightly on the aftertaste.
David46 (10) - St Matthews, Kentucky, USA - JUN 8, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I had a chance to sample this wonderful stout at a beer festival last weekend. I had not tried this series of big bottle Samuel Adams beers, so I was very pleasantly surprised. I will add more to the rating info when I have a chance for a larger portion.
kevinator (892) - The Colony, Texas, USA - JUN 2, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
This gets points for uniqueness but is my least favorite of their Barrel Room Collection. Sour and Belgian yeast aromas with a hint of roasted malts. Deep brown with a red tint on the edges. Not as dark as expected. Lighter mouthfeel with lower carbonation but with a decent head. Oak and tart fruit flavors hit first followed by roasted chocolate and a Belgian spice finish. Complex but not enough to "wow" me.